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Thread Electric Guitar and PC: How do I do it??!!

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1 Electric Guitar and PC: How do I do it??!!
Hi Everybody....
Last time I had a query, I received some real help ! I guess I could do with some more !!
I just bought an electric guitar and want to connect it to my PC.
The soundcard I'm using is Audigy 2 ZS and its manual says that I can plug in the electric guitar into the line-in of the soundcard thru a "Pre-Amp FX box".

The software I'm using is Cakewalk (Plasma and Guitar Studio) and Fruityloops Producer edition.

Now as I understand that there can be two ways to connect the guitar to the soundcard (please correct me if I am wrong):

1. Directly ( using a 1/4" mono to 1/8" stereo adapter). But I guess this gives avery weak input signal to the PC.

2. Connecting the Guitar to an Amp and then the Amp o/p to the PC line-in

I guess the main purpose is to bring the o/p of the guitar to same level as acceptable by the soundcard i/p..

So should I be using a mixer for this or an Amp?
And how do I decide the specifications of the Mixer/Amp when I go to buy these.. what wattage etc?? I am not sure if most of the stuff like POD etc is available in India.
So could you please give me some general guidelines as to how I should go about choosing the Amp. I just need it for connecting with my PC ; nothing more.

Secondly I am confused about whether I should go for an Effects box or rely on software effects for things like distortion , overdrive, flanger etc for my electric guitar?

Looking forward to some suggestions....
Ah- guitar recording!! What fun.....

There are several different ways to approach this. One is to get your live rig up (with amp) and running with "your" tone, then mic it (a Shure SM57 is sort of the industry standard for this), send it to a mixer, and then send a line out off the mixer to the soundcard. The is is the method I use most these days.

There are also a number of effects modelers out there, like the POD, that model guitar amps digitally and have line outs that you could send straight to the soundcard, although I always use a mixer because it gives you much more flexible signal routing options within your studio.

Porbably one of the best bang for the buck modelers out there tight now is the Behringer V Amp line. If you're a beginner, I'd recomend the V Amp option. If you're a pro, and you already have your live rig tweeked to where you already have your tone, then I'd opt for learning how to mic that.

Your other questions- I would NOT rely on software for distortion or overdrive. This is a component of the guitar sound that, in my opinion, is an important part of PLAYING the guitar. Chorus and delay you can add with software if you want.

For recording, a low wattage (probably 10 watss or less) tube amp will yield the best tone. If you're going with a solid state amp, you might as well get a modeler, or, there are now several makes of guitar amps that have modelers built into a combo guitar amp, like the Behringer GM 110. I've heard it, it's nice for playing at home and practicing and recording. I wouldn't try to gig with one, in my experience solid state stuff just doesn't cut it in a live scenario.

Lastly, if you try to hook a guitar amp up to your soundcard OR mixer- make sure you are using a LINE or PREAMP output from the amp- NOT a speaker output. That will blow your soundcard or mixer up.[/b]
The Axeman (##(===> Cuts From My New Blues CD
Hi Axeman,

Thanx a lot for ur help ! I couldn't get the V-amp but I went ahead and bought a 10watts small amplifier , just for the time being. Now i am trying out various mic postions and noting the resulting tone.

There is one thing though which am unable to understand.... u mentioned that I should plug the Line-Out (and not the Speaker o/p) of the amp to my soundcard Line-in, now there is a socket on the amp labelled as Line-out, but the shopkeeper told me that its for sending the o/p to some other speaker... so that makes it the speaker-out right. rather than Line-out ?

If the output is labled as "Line Out", it should be an unpowered line level signal that would be suitable for sending a signal to a mixer (on a line level channel input), directly to your soundcard (although I'd use a mixer anyway), or to another effects unit.

Either you misunderstood your shopkeep or he doesn't know what he's about. The line out won't power another speaker directly without some sort of amplification stage in between. Example- line out of your amp into the effects return jack of another amp. This would send the line out signal from your little amp directly into the power amp stage of the second amp.
The Axeman (##(===> Cuts From My New Blues CD
can i plug a electric guitar using 1/4' trs straight to my delta 192? without anything in between like with my X-Fi?
You can, but it'll sound really bad.

Either mic your amp, or use a modeling effects pedal, like a Pod or a Behringer VAmp.
The Axeman (##(===> Cuts From My New Blues CD
Theres a line out from my amp that says "Head Phones" is that good enough for the sound card?
And does the mixer app that comes with my m-audio card show actual input levels or output levels?
Headphones out is not a line level signal, so it will probably work on the line input but not well. It's too hot for a mic input. Does your amp have an effects loop? If so, the effects send should work ok with the line in on your sound card.

The MAudio mixer app should show levels for both the input and output busses. They should be labeled which is which. The manuals are available at the MAudio website if you dont have one.
The Axeman (##(===> Cuts From My New Blues CD
there is a output or input, im not quite sure that say "Foot Switch" on my amp, is that the effects loop?
i have a Fender Champion 300

I called my local music store "steves music" and asked them for an electric guitar preamp. and they gave me the run around for 15mins.
they offered me a Fishman or a marshall boost pedal, which one should i go for.

So micing an amp is what people do in studios?
Micing is the best way. You can try the headphones out to the line in on your soundcard. I don't think it'll hurt anything, but it may not sound very good. Your amp does not hav an effects loop, so that's out. The footswitch jack os for a footswitch to switch the onboard effects.

I would not lay down any more $$ on anything until you educate yourself on what you have, what you want to do, and how the technology works.
The Axeman (##(===> Cuts From My New Blues CD